Lot No. 695 (91st Auction)
Nicole Nielsen & Co., 14 Soho Square, London, Movement No. 10095, Case No. 10095, 54 mm, 169 g, circa 1888

A heavy hunting case pocket watch with split seconds chronograph
Case: 18k gold, tiered, polished, engraved monogram "NW", gold dome, case maker's punch mark "EN" (Emil Nielsen partner in Nicole, Nielsen & Co., entered 6 August 1878), pusher for chronograph at "11 and 1". Dial: enamel, radial Roman hours, auxiliary seconds at "9", signed, blued spade hands. Movm.: 3/4 plate movement, frosted, gilt, signed, finely ground and bevelled chronograph steel parts, ratchet wheel, English lever escapement, gold screw compensation balance, fine florally engraved balance cock, index spring fine adjusting device.

Nicole Nielsen & Co., 14 Soho Square, London
The Nicole Nielsen & Co. had a reputation for the fine quality of their watches; they were one of the main suppliers for Chas. Frodsham.
Nicole Nielsen started out as a manufacturer of chronographs but extended their product range to include pocket chronometers, carrousel watches and tourbillons for well-known brands in London. The Swiss parent company Nicole & Capt was founded in Geneva in 1837; Adolphe Nicole and his partner Henry Capt opened their first branch in 1840 in London. Jules Capt joined the company as a partner in 1843 after Henry Capt had died; one year later Adolphe Nicole received his first patent. He was issued two more patents, in 1862 (for a chronograph movement) and 1870 (for a resilient lever).
Shortly after Jules Capt’s death in 1876 Sophus Emil Nielsen, son-in-law and employee of Nicole, became a partner and applied for a patent (for an up and down mechanism). In 1888 Sophus Emil Nielsen sold the company to Mr. North and held the position of managerial director together with Harrison Mill Frodsham.
Whereas Nicole Nielsen & Co. probably had many of their special parts made in Switzerland, the majority of parts was produced on the premises at Soho Square.
In 1898 31 year old Robert Benson North became director of the company; Sophus Emil Nielsen died in 1899. In 1904 the production range was extended to include tachometers for cars and a new factory for this line was built in Watford in the north west of London. In 1917 the company name changed from "Nicole Nielsen & Co. Ltd." to "North & Sons Ltd., 14 Soho Square". After the First World War the company suffered heavy sales losses; Robert Benson North died in 1929 and in 1932 the company entered into liquidation - truly a sad ending for a staff of 350 in Watford and for the employees at headquarters at Soho Square.
Estimate  5,500 - 7,000 €
This is a lot of a former auction!

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